Hey 2018! You're Gonna Be REAL: January 03 2018
Happy New Year friends!
We made it through the whirlwind that was 2017. I think many of us are feeling a bit weary from the ups and downs that last year brought, but overall I'm very satisfied to be on this side of what will be a very big, wonderful and weird 2018! After a long silence here on the blog, it feels like the right time for an update.
My husband and I are expecting our first baby this year. After a long road of trying and uncertainty, we found out that a little boy will be joining us in February. It's so surreal. By early November I had to slow down very drastically in the studio and cut my holiday shows down to only two (thank you Hamilton + Toronto!) because for once, I was not in control of my body...the baby and spiking hormones were. Even now at almost 35 weeks, if I happen to forget I'm no longer driving this bus the babe will remind me with a flurry of strong karate kicks.
Years ago I started taking stock of what it might look like to be both a parent and an artist by observing other artists in my community (both artists who chose to become parents and those who chose not to), because in all honesty, at times it felt like art + babies = crazy town. And I'm sure it does! Since working alongside some amazing artist parents in the Make and Do collective, I've been so inspired to just jump in with both feet and figure it out as I go. I know I won't be perfect in my career or my parenting, but I refuse to accept that I can't do both. When I need a boost of morale for this artistic parenting experiment, I've found this website to be so helpful. It's a digital scrapbook of working moms in the field of ceramics and it makes my heart swell.
One curveball we definitely did not see coming in 2017 was my dad's stroke. Since May he's been slowly recovering his ability to walk and speak with an incredible amount of support from my mom, our family and people from the community in Muskoka where they live. It's been a humbling experience that has reminded us to savour each day we have. While visiting Muskoka over the summer to rest and visit with family, we made another GBD (great big decision): we decided we wanted to move back home.
We always thought we might end up moving back up north, but the imminent baby arrival and my dad's health really helped to refocus everything. So in May 2018 we'll be leaving Hamilton (so bittersweet... ack! Hamilton has been so good to us) and moving back into the wilds of Muskoka for fresh air, big blue lakes and bonfires. We've found a sweet old century home and I am so excited to start building a new ceramics studio on our land (I'll post about our progress here and on Instagram). I'm hoping to one day be on the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour but there's lots of work to do before I can apply for that. I'd love to connect with more Muskoka artists and get involved in the vibrant arts community. Coming home feels really good.
To wrap up, I want to thank everyone who supported me and my work on Make and Do this year, at the Hamilton Potters' Guild Sales and at City of Craft. Taking a hiatus from making work feels so bizarre and hasn't really sunk in yet but the awkwardness has been eased by seeing so many warm, familiar faces at these shows. Thank you to everyone who stopped by my booth to offer words of encouragement and to purchase pieces. And a big thanks to all the shops that carried my work this year. THANK YOU.
Looking forward to rolling with all the ch-ch-ch-ch-changes this year will bring with so much gratitude,
Image above by Jeff Tessier.